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Letters to the Editor


I AM writing to thank all who supported my recent campaign for the state Senate. I carried Santa Cruz County by 22 percentage points, and am particularly grateful to the Weekly for sponsoring the Cabrillo College debate and for publishing an opinion piece on the issues. It was heartening that over 1,000 people volunteered on my campaign, and over 2,000 made a financial contribution, but a midsummer election in a gerrymandered district was just too high a hurdle to overcome.

The issues that motivated support for my candidacy—support for public education and environmental protection, ending the budget gridlock, and bringing back jobs to the Central Coast—are issues still at play in the November election. I urge voters to support Proposition 21 to save our state parks, oppose Proposition 23 to save California's landmark greenhouse gases bill and support Proposition 25 to lessen budget gridlock. I look forward to continuing to work together on issues that benefit the Central Coast.

John Laird,

Santa Cruz

Not So Fast

WE ARE leaving Iraq!!! Yeah, whoooo! Just like Obama promised in the 2008 election. Wow, I knew Obama could save this world. He is truly doing it. His campaign promise is real!

I am so relieved that I wasn't hoodwinked.

He is God. Wow. I love Obama. Everything that I was promised I got. We are leaving Iraq. I guess they are leaving 50,000 non-combat troops behind to die, though. That isn't bad. Ouch.

David Brunfield II,



THE FLOODING in Pakistan is on a scale seldom seen before in modern times, and so far the aid delivered is far below the need. The disaster is not getting the press it deserves and has been overshadowed this week in the news by stories about the progress in the Gulf in the aftermath of Katrina. Understandable as that is, the crisis in Pakistan is occurring now.

Seventeen million people are affected. Homes, agriculture, infrastructure have been devastated throughout the country—from the Himalayan region to the Arabian Sea. UN reports describe the humanitarian damage as worse than the Indonesian tsunami, Pakistan earthquake, and Haiti earthquake combined. A majority of the people of one of the most populous countries in the world are without clean water, food, shelter, roads, bridges. Northern Pakistan received more rain in one day than it had ever received in an entire month. That water flows to the plains in the south where most of the food is grown. The monsoon is not over. The entire country is at risk for waterborne disease, such as cholera, and in the coming months there is widespread risk of starvation as most of the current crops have been wiped out.

On the political side, what is at risk is the destabilization of an already fragile nuclear-armed nation. What aid being delivered is coming from a handful of NGOs, ineptly by the Pakistan government, but most troubling coming from Taliban and Al Qaeda terror groups angling to benefit from the devastation by swaying public allegiance. These are the same gangs blowing up car bombs in markets and murdering politicians such as Benazir Bhutto.

Aid is needed now. Awareness is needed now. The geopolitical implications of this disaster need to be made clear to our elected leaders. Please find it in yourself to contribute to some of the NGOs trying to help in this disaster. There are many aid groups trying to help, and one I suggest is Doctors Without Borders. They don't have a political stake in this and they are on the ground now. I know the economy is bad, money is tight, but this disaster is unlike anything aid workers have ever dealt with and will have implications for the future. And please ask your friends to help.

Craig Cheatham,

Santa Cruz

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